Updated: Jul 14
Weston Warriors is a ‘new’ old ground as it’s the location of the Otmoor ground we
shot in the mid noughties. So, the Island duo of Richard and Andy headed off on the
730am ferry for what might be a troublesome route. The reason being the A34 is
closed over the weekend so diversions round Oxford.
The journey usually takes about 90 minutes so we were expecting about an extra 20
minutes on the journey. We arrived just before 1030am and the car told us it was
25deg outside, felt a lot warmer after the AC of the car though.
We booked in collected cards and then decided for some food, hoping a better fare
than 2 weeks previous. The answer to that was a definite yes, a couple of sausage and bacon baps were ready to eat in a bit over 5 minutes, 2 split sausages and 2 large rashers of thick bacon definately hit the mark. We took a walk around the course, may even put a few off with the smell of a our food, you never know.
So to the course, it was not the same as the Summer league shoot. For a start the grass and nettles were about 2-3ft tall now. The lanes set out in a wobbly circular shape.
Some of the targets out in open areas and others under the trees. The firing gates also were shaded or not and that changed during the day as the sun moved across the sky.
The morning session had about 6-8 whistles during the session mainly due to bits in the way but not matter how many times you check something will always get in the way.
Went and had a few practice checking shots on the zero range. 12yd windage check went well until shot 4 which landed about 8-10mm high. My first thought was a rogue pellet but the next one landed in the same place.
Pushing the checks out to 35yds pellets still landing high this time near 25mm and the 50yd board was about the same again. Decided to check over the chrono here and was shocked to find it running at 792fps. The highest I had ever seen this season. I made a mental note check at the club when next there and to aim lower on the course.
Top graded score of 48 from the morning session suggested that a score higher was possible. Paul Whitehouse did clear the course in Open Class in the morning
session so good shooting and no doubt pumped with a score like that.
After a luckless raffle draw the afternoon squad headed to the start lanes. I was shooting with Shaun Shore, someone I had spoken to many times over the years at different shoots. Lane 11 was our start lane. After a few minutes of waiting the whistle blew and we were off. Shaun and myself decided to do swap who shot first, so I started first.
Blue targets were present in the last 2 GP but here also, not my favourite colours as I find it difficult to see misses. Both myself and Shaun got the first and missed the second. We then missed both targets in the next lane. After 2 lanes I remembered that I was going high, so I aimed lower on our 3rd lane and knocked both over.
Then began a bit of cat and mouse between us. If I cleared a lane Shaun missed either one or both and if I missed one or both then Shaun would clear both.
A t the end of our first 10 lanes Shaun was slightly ahead by a few targets with me only hitting 9 out of 20. By this time I was starting to wonder if wearing a black leather shooting jacket was a good idea. I was well into my 2nd bottle of water, which I had frozen the night before.
I was not the only one wearing one, but my shirt underneath was supposed to be the colour of the shooter sitting down in the picture but more like the colour of the jacket, as it was soaked with sweat.
With my score not in double figures after 10 lanes I was beginning to wonder if this was going to be another Tondu and becoming a dropped score.
Over the next 15 lanes I did not really take much notice of my scores thinking I had missed to many to count but enjoying the course itself, it was only when at the end of lane 5 and I noticed Shaun had gotten a row of 10. Upon mentioning this we going to see Shaun’s ‘I got a perfect 10’ dance and then made him happier saying he had actually hit 14 in a row.
Didn’t last long as he promptly missed target 11.
A s we headed into the final run of 5 lanes, I was now on my about my 6th bottle of drink. This group of 10 targets I dropped only 1 more target. This gave me a score of 34 which is also the same score as Shaun did.
Both of us quite surprised seeing as how bad we started. Just goes to prove if you stick with it you can still put a decent score in. Looking around as I walked back it was interesting to see how some were trying to minimise the sun affecting the scope. Covering with silver foil/tape the common way.
Catching up with Richard as we walked back he was happy with a 42, both of us knowing we had 1 or 2 silly misses.
O n arrival at the stats to hand the cards in we hear our fellow regional shooter Justin Woods actually cleared the course. Course clearances are rare but Justin is one of the few that have done it twice now. At the car more water and cans drunk to rehydrate. Said shooting jackets will need some drying out before wearing again.
Both glad to be back with decent scores after Tondu. Myself getting back into the 30’s which was my goal to try and do for the whole year but failed at Tondu. Luckily we both will be able to drop 3 of our worse scores.
W e had noticed the clouds starting to darken in the west of the ground. On leaving the ground to head back towards Southampton the outside temperature was about 26 deg still.
As we headed round the Oxford diversion the rain/hail started to come down heavily making driving conditions difficult. The temperature according to the car was now only 16 degrees but plenty of lighting about. As we neared Southampton it looked like it had not rained at all.
The next 2 rounds are not until July with another double header at Emley Moor and then Anston. Expecting a challenge at Anston as Andy Calpin will be setting the course out and he does like his long ladder.